DSOM-020R PX30 development board review – Unboxing, Benchmarks, and Zigbee gateway

Dusun IoT DSOM-020R PX30 is a development board based on the company’s 1.3GHz Rockchip PX30K quad-core Cortex-A35 module of the same name designed for industrial applications that emphasize reliability and power efficiency.

The board comes with various ports and expansion capabilities with support for monitors, microphones, and sensors through its carrier board in order to create prototypes and develop software before integrating the SOM DSOM-020 PX30 system-on-module into your own custom carrier board and product.

As the company stipulates on the website, the development board is suitable for AIoT equipment, vehicle control, gaming platforms, smart displays, medical equipment, vending machines, and industrial computers. Let’s start the review with an unboxing of the DSOM-020R PX30 development board to find out more.

DSOM-020R PX30 development board unboxing

Dusun IoT sent us a basic kit of the DSOM-020R PX30 development board for review with a carrier board, the DSOM-020 PX30 system-on-module module, a USB2Serial debug board, a USB cable, and 12V/2A power adapter. We were initially taken aback as the module was not soldered to the carrier board.

DSOM-020 Development Board with PX30K before soldering

DSOM-020 Development Board with PX30K module

But instead of returning the board, we eventually decided to solder it ourselves to the carrier board to carry on with the review. Here’s what the complete kit we received looks like after soldering the module.DSOM-020 PX30 Development Board unboxing

Hardware introduction

Rockchip px30k block diagram
Rockchip PX30K block diagram

The brain of the DSOM-020R PX30 development board is the SOM DSOM-020 PX30 powered by a Rockchip PX30K low-power quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 processor designed for 24-7 operation. The processor offers plenty of GPIOs, four I2C, six UART, I2S, and camera interfaces among others. Dusun IoT integrated the PX30K into the SOM DSOM-020 PX30 module along with RAM and EMMC flash to use the board design of the customers.

The Rockchip PX30K is a variant of the better-known Rockchip PX30 processor designed to work in a wider -20 to +85°C temperature range.

Rockchip PX30 PX30K

DSOM-020 PX30 SOM specifications

  • SoC – Rockchip PX30K quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 at up to 1.3 GHz with dual-core Mail-G31-2EE GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.2, DirectX 11 FL9_3, OpenCL 2.0, and Vulkan 1.0.
  • System Memory- Up to 2GB RAM
  • Storage – Up to 128GB eMMC flash
  • 144x through pads and castellated holes with
    • Storage – SDIO for SD card
    • Display – MIPI, LVDS, RGB Interfaces; capacitive touchscreen via USB, or resistive touchscreen via serial
    • Camera – 1x MIPI CSI camera input interface or parallel camera input interface
    • Audio – AC97 codec, 8-channel I2S for recording and playback of audio
    • Networking – 10/100M Ethernet (on carrier PHY required)
    • USB – 2x USB 2.0, including one OTG
    • Low-speed I/Os – GPIOS, 6x serial, 8x PWM, 4x I2C, 2x SPI
    • Analog – 3x ADC
  • Power Supply – RK809 PMU with support for sleep and wake-up
  • Dimensions – 45 x 45mm
  • Temperature Range – Operating: -20°C to +85°C; storage: -40°C to + 85°C
  • RoHS certified
  • Design for 24/7 operation

Carrier board specifications

Let’s now have a closer look at the carrier board’s features.DSOM-020 PX30 Development Board ports layout

Specifications:

  • Storafge – MicroSD card slot
  • Display – MIPI DSI and LVDS connectors for RGB displays
  • Camera – MIPI CSI connector
  • Audio – Built-in microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack, speakers connector
  • Networking
    • 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 port
    • Optional WiFi+Bluetooth or 3G/4G cellular connectivity via mini PCIe socket, SIM card slot, and SMA antenna connector
  • USB – 3x USB host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port to flash the OS
  • Serial – 3x UART connectors
  • Misc
    • IR receiver
    • Buzzer
    • Battery connector for RTC
    • 4x user LEDs
    • Power button, Reset button, 4x user-programmable buttons
  • Power Supply – 12V DC power barrel jack

Installing Ubuntu to DSOM-020R PX30 development board

We’ll try installing the Ubuntu 16.04 image (the filename “DSOM-020R_img-debian_AV1.0.0.img” includes “debian” but that’s an Ubuntu image…) for PX30K provided by Dusun IoT using the RKDevTool V2.93 program in Windows since it is the recommended method. The Rockchip PX30K can be put into flash mode by pressing and holding the K1/Recovery button and then pressing the Reset button. Shortly after that, the program will detect the board and display the message “Found One LOADER Device”. We can now click on the “Upgrade Firmware” tab,  select the OS image, and click on the “Upgrade” button.RKDevTool write image px30k
After the installation is complete, we can connect the UART2 connector on the board to the provided USB-to-Serial debug board and set the baudrate to 115200 to access the serial console. The board takes only 11 seconds to boot up to the console.

DSOM-020 PX30 board boot time px30K

The board does not have a standard video output interface like HDMI,  so the serial interface is the only option here unless the kit also includes an LCD display attached to the MIPI DSI or LVDS connector.

Let’s now quickly check we got a module with 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash promised. The /dev/root is 4.9GB and /dev/mmcblk2p9 – which is /userdata – has a size of 24GB, so everything is fine storage-wise. If you want to install any additional programs, you have to go to /userdata and make a symbolic link pointing to it. The “free” command confirms we have 2GB of RAM.

disk ram check px30K system-on-module

DSOM-020R PX30 development board review with Ubuntu 16.04

We will now perform some basic functional testing to check the module information, check the eMMC flash performance, and Ethernet speed, and since we have a headless system use the board as a Zigbee gateway for IoT applications.

System benchmarks

We’ll start the benchmarks in Ubuntu with sbc-bench.sh. The script reports 1.9GB of RAM and a 4-core Rockchip PX30 CPU clocked at 1.248 GHz.


Under heavy load, the CPU temperature rose to 68.1 °C without any cooling heatsink or fan, and the system was still stable with no throttling detected by the script.


The CPU temperature ranges from 58°C to 68.8°C during the test.


You’ll find the complete sbc-bench.sh test results at http://ix.io/4IT1.

We then tested flash storage faster with iozone using the -i parameter to read data directly from the disk without relying on the cache that may skew results:


The read speed is approximately 128 MB/s and the write speed is 108 MB/s, which is considered very good. For reference, the flash chip is a Samsung  KLMBG2JETD-B041 eMMC 5.1 flash.

Networking performance

We tested the 10/100M Ethernet performance with iperf3 program using the router provided by AIS (broadband operator in Thailand) and found a speed of 94.2 Mbits per second, a normal result for a 100 Mbps interface.

Features testing

ADC keys

The DSOM-020R PX30 development board comes with four user-programmable buttons (K1, K2, K3 and K4) that are connected to the Rockchip PX30’s ADC2 interface using different resistors values so that when a button is pressed we can read different voltage values and know which button was pressed.

dsom-020 px30 board ADC buttons schematicWe used the sample code below for testing:


After compiling the program with gcc we successfully ran the sample to test key presses:

Using DSOM-020R PX32 development board as a Zigbee gateway

We tested the stability of the DSOM-020R PX30 development board by configuring it as a Zigbee gateway by connecting the SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus to one of the board’s USB ports and the system detected it properly:


We then installed Node.js – required by Zigbee2MQTT – by following the relevant instructions on GitHub.


The next step is to install the Zigbee2MQTT file from GitHub:


After the installation was complete, we started Zigbee2MQTT and this worked without any issues:


At this point, we can open the Zigbee2MQTT dashboard by typing IP address of the board with port 8080 (e.g. http://192.168.1.170:8080) in a web browser. Zigbee2MQTT will then immediately detect Zigbee devices that are in pairing mode.

zigbee2mqtt rockchip px30k

Clicking on the “Map” tab reveals that both Zigbee devices are connected directly to the DSOM-020R PX30 development board.

zigbee2mqtt map on px30k som

Let’s now click on the “Devices” tab, select the IKEA VINDSTYRKA air quality sensor, and click on the “Exposes” tab to check the temperature, humidity, PM2.5, and VOC index values. Everything works as expected. Great!

zigbee2mqtt data expose on DSOM-020 px30 sbc

Finally, we opened an MQTT client to confirm Zigbee2MQTT was properly forwarding the values to the MQTT broker and again, that worked fine with the data updated continuously every 10 seconds.

IKEA VINDSTYRKA send data to mqtt broker

Power consumption

Since the Rockchip PX30 is a low-power processor we measured the power consumption of the board with a multimeter.

DSOM PX30K power consumption SBC BENCH
Power consumption measurement during sbc-bench.sh

Results at 12V DC:

  • Power off – 24 mA, or 288 mW
  • Idle – 110mA, or 1.32 Watts
  • SBC bench (7-zip multi-thread) – 257mA, or 3.088 Watts

Conclusion

After testing the DSOM-020R PX30 development board for about one month, we can conclude that the overall system is very stable and operates at low power at just 3W under load in our measurements, while the datasheet for the DSOM-020 PX30 system-on-module states that the module itself consumes up to 7.5W at most. The 12V/2A adapter delivers enough for the board and multiple peripherals attached to it.

The development kit is especially suitable for edge computing applications where low power consumption and low heat emissions are required bearing in mind the performance limitations of a quad-core Cortex-A35 processor.

Publicly available documentation for the DSOM-020R PX30 Development Board is rather limited because Dusun IoT mostly provides support via an online community where FAEs help answer various questions and support requests that users may have. This is fine for professional users developing commercial products, but this may still be frustrating to some. The good news is that Dusun IoT is working on replacing its Google Docs-based documentation with a proper online wiki and GitHub account that should have more details. We’ll provide a link to the new development resources once available.

We’d like to thank Dusun IoT Company for sending the DSOM-020R PX30 development board for review. Readers interested in the development kit can find more details on the product page and request a kit if needed (pricing is not available online at this time).

CNXSoft: This article is a translation of the review on CNX Software Thailand by and edited by Suthinee Kerdkaew.

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5 Comments
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tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> We’ll try installing the Ubuntu 16.04 image

Just why? If a vendor only provides an Ubuntu 16.04 image running with a 4.4.159 kernel of which both receive zero updates any more… why testing this crap?

Isn’t PX30 the same as RK3308 software-wise?

Dan
Dan
5 months ago

Unfortunately a lot of times “update the OS” means updating the userland and OS release number but keeping the same kernel and bootloader.

Andreas
Andreas
5 months ago

Unfortunately, confidence in Dunsun will remain low until they fix their public documentation and update their builds for existing products

David Willmore
David Willmore
5 months ago

Well done for soldering down that module!

Khadas VIM4 SBC